Eight days into the beginning of the school year I miss my baby so much. She is in school full time now which I think is still too long for a little person. But she is beginning to be more confident in writing and reading from one week going to school alone. She fondly talks about her new friends at school, lunch and play time. On Monday she came back and said to me that she has joined the Joke Club which I am not sure if it is pure imagination but on Friday she said that the club has been shut down.
Six hours and a half everyday is too long at the moment to be alone in the house without R’s presence. Every time she comes back from school she is starving and tired. No more problem about eating supper, so long it may last. I miss her, the happiness, energy in the house in the last four years 24/7 and she is becoming more and and more independent and slowly getting out of mummy and daddy’s wings. I guess that is how things work in having a child.
R started in Class one on Wednesday. She was excited to go until today which was nice in a way that I could happily leave there without worries the whole day. She came back on the first day and she was starving although she said that she enjoyed her school lunch. She refuses to packed lunch unlike in when she went to preschool. Exercise, play time, pudding, colouring, new friends and a ‘rusty’ loo are the things she tells about before bed time. It is fun because R picks up her pens and paper and writes cards, notes with lots of hugs and kisses. I do not force her to go and write she is the one who is happy and much happier now to sound out letters while writing them since Wednesday.
She looks bigger and matured now in her uniform. My baby is growing fast and I know more independence is to come and I will only be in the sideline. It will be fine for the three of us as she grows in to her own person.
We arrived in Bangkok last week and we have been swimming twice every day. The weather is lovely, it rained most nights and yesterday afternoon too. I am waiting for the downpour tonight though it might not happen as it does not have that humidity that comes before the rain.
The pool temperature is nice not too cold or hot. It is refreshing and the sun is out of the pool by three for afternoon swim.
This time of year is not busy with tourists yet. State schools in the west are not due to break up until next week and the local schools here have only just started the school year last month. It means we have a ‘private pool’ nearly all the time. It is fun to have a few groups sometimes but they are regulars so it is normal. A 25 metre pool 5 minutes near the BTS Wongwianyai is a good find in the city.
The restaurant of the hotel has been shut though which is a shame because we occasionally eat there or used to dine there after our swim or when I could not think of anything to cook. Days before we leave we normally pack our things and eat out 2 out of 3 meals a day which puts our minds to leaving mode. Our favourite noodle restaurant just outside the hotel had also shut because the man who runs it is ill. We found a new place to have lunch which is a 3 minute bicycle ride away but I cannot imagine going there in the middle of summer.
Well, there are pluses and minuses. Funny phrase. As we are only here for three weeks a few new finds and old things to do would be enough.
R went to school this morning after saying that she did not want to go to school because she wanted to have lunch here and that she did not want to play with one of the boys. Well, we will see how it went when she comes back.
M went to give his parents a hand which is fine but sometimes when I look around it is getting into my nerves. Whenever I hear comments about how he helps his parents or talks to them puts me in a very bad mood which makes me think of all the time he spends there away from the house which is unfinished, the garden which needs more attention and the shed, back garden and more. He could have spent all those time there in the house to improve our lives every single day.
I spent two hours transplanting, watering, tying up plants to have flowers and vegetables in the summer and autumn. It was hot by 11 today and so it was time to clear the rooms with clutter and then iron.
Endless housework, endless comments from relatives. If people could just stop troubleshooting all the time and give feedback instead to encourage other people to do more or carry on with what has been started then all is well. Gardening takes the mind off unwanted thoughts sometimes. Off to hang the washing and time to plug the iron in.
In two weeks’ time we are flying back to the UK. Here are a few places that we went to in Bangkok this time.
- Children’s Discovery Museum in Chatuchak. This is a handy place to go to. It is free of charge, easy to find and get to. Take the BTS to Mo Chit and it is a few minutes walk from there. They have an outdoor playground and fountain area to cool down. Indoors is fully air conditioned which is helpful when it is hot outside. The place is open from 10 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon. We always go to JJ Mall for lunch which is a stone’s throw away and after lunch there is a choice of going back to the museum or shopping in the mall.
- Sea Life Ocean World. We have been twice with the help of a discount travel agent. R had fun watching the penguins, sharks, sting ray, sea horses and different colours of fish which she has seen on tv. It was like dream come true. The ticket agent could be contacted on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/traveliciouzbymelody?fref=ts&ref=br_tf It is at the basement of Siam Paragon which is an interchange station of the Sky train so it makes the visits easy.
- Snake Farm. It is a compelling place for adults and children alike. The people who work there are passionate and respectful of the resident reptiles. It is interesting to know that not all snakes are dangerous.
- Wat Pho and Wat Arun. Temple of the Reclining Buddha and Temple of Dawn are a must go to place whenever we visit the city. We normally start the trip by getting on an orange flag boat, not the tourist boat, to see the city on a different angle then we get off at Tha Tien and go around Wat Pho first then take a ferry over to Wat Arun. After we climb Wat Arun and taken in the view of the place around it, exit at the back and look for a coffee shop or a local place to eat. Since we stay on the Thonburi side of town a bus or taxi ride back is always fun.
- Wat Traimit. It is amazing to see a Golden Buddha of 3 metres high and 5.5 tonnes. A walk from there to the main railway station, Hua Lamphong which is 5 minutes away to watch trains come and go as well as people watching is one thing to do. There are places to eat around the station and the subway station is there too to carry on the fun.
- The Mall Thapra’s play area. An hour of fun with slides, climbing equipment, sand table, fishing table, a few musical instruments and ball pit for the children which means an hour of quiet time for parents while watching them play.
- Maha Chai Railway market. Take a commuter train early morning from Wongwianyai which takes around 50 minutes. It is a fun train journey. The fun does not stop there because the train stops at the market or the market is at the train station. Walk around the market, cross over the Tha Chin river and walk around the local area to the Baan Laem train station that will take you to Maeklong Market. We only go to the temple that looks out the other side of the river to watch boats unload their catch. Go back to Maha Chai, have lunch and catch a train back to Wongwianyai.
- Local market. Plenty of things to see and buy. From vegetables to fish, cooking materials, clothing, and freshly cooked food. Lots of vocabulary to learn and a feast to the palate.
There are a lot of places in store to visit but for a three year old staying in a place with a 25 metre pool to go to every day bring loads of fun.
We have been in Bangkok for two months now and still have no desire to go back. It is getting hottter now though. The hot season is coming and it will become unbearable to go out of the compound after 10 in the morning. With two weeks in December without much work for M it was quite nice to get up, cook, have breakfast, go for a swim and relax a bit. Every single day from the day we arrived until the day before Christmas were hectic and annoying for me. I could not think of a reason to smile. It was because each day from morning until night time M was in front of his laptop. Admittedly he works from home and it makes a difference in R’s life to see daddy everyday but all the stress at work is always around. R gets to play with daddy in the mornings but most of the time it would be me and her.
Fortunately, my sister and my niece who is six were here for a month which was a relief at times. To be told that to have my family is stressful is wrong. To spend for my family and insinuate that we are asked to buy them things is a lot of stress for me. I do not want to see any of my relatives anymore if things like this come up again and again I am not comfortable to even think about invting my family oveer.
R and her cousin had arguments in the first two weeks of playing together. It was their first meeting so two different personalities clashed. There were tears at time but in the second half of their time they played well together. I heard them do role plays a lot. They played in the small pool sometimes but since G was not coomfortable in the water yet she was squeaky at times. R did her own thing, she swam and then played with her toys which she.shared with cousin reluctantly sometimes.
We had to go for a visa run in Vientiane the mroning that my sister was going home. It was sad to come back to the place without being able to see them again which I am sure will be for ages. I did not see my sister for five years. Last time I saw her was back in Beijing. I was not able to go back and see them again either in China or the Philippines because of financial reasons. I had two jobs after I left China but it was enough to pay for my rent at the training area for my course, food and projects to finish what I enrolled in.
It was lovely to see her and my niece even though there were tough times when differences in socialisation between the children were apparent. I hope that there will be a next time to see them and in a better place too.
We did touristy things like temple visits, went on boat rides, tuktuk and bus rides, a bit of shopping in Chinatown and a couple of malls, a short train journey and early lunch overlooking an estuary. We went to the snake farm, the aquariom, children’s museum and few trips to tthe park. We spent a lot of time indoors and let the children play. When we got fed up cooking because meal times was a chore we ate out. Bangkok is an easy place to find food at and we can afford to relax a little.
Back to the three of us for two days and M will work with someeone from New Zealand for two weeks and the countdown to go back will be on.
R turned three and a half this month and she has grown a lot. She has started nursery or is that preschool here? The school is 4 miles away meaning we have to drive there three times a week. For now she spends two and a half days away from us. She comes back tired but happy. She finishes her packed lunch and her stories about what happened and what she did in school are either endless or she tells us that she would tell us later on.
It is half term and she keeps herself busy playing with her toys. She chats away, dances, jumps around, occasionally helps in the kitchen especially when she likes what I am about to cook or bake. Three days ago I introduced her to Science experiments. Some might think that it is late to start but it is fine here as I avoid her having too much praise when she blurt out something that she has done or knows. We did chemical reaction experiment with baking soda and vinegar on the first day. On our second day we mixed milk, food color and dish soap. It was not what I expected to happen, it was a flop. The colours did not dance around in short it ended up brown. She was still happy to see how the colours changed. After that she was interested to have another experiment so we took five glasses out, filled three with water, added primary colours in each glasses. TIme for capillary action. We had two glasses in between the glasses with paint in them. We folded table napkins and dipped one end to a coloured water then the other to the empty glass. We spent around five minutes watching the water walk from one glass to another. She spotted the tv after a few minutes of watching the process so we have decided that we will do it again some other time. Yesterday we inflated a balloon with baking soda and vinegar with her two friends who came over and we did it to inflate a balloon. They were excited about it and the two children, K and A brought them home. Today we did a few things with whatever else we had in the kitchen. We wrote with milk and lemon juice, played with the salad spinner with paint and paper inside it. R was more interested in the process of squeezing the juice out of the lemon and using cotton swabs as medium to write. With the centrifugal force introduction, the basket turning after she pushed it a number of times and then pushed a button to stop was more interesting than the idea she was told about. We finished our morning today with finger and hand painting with leftover paint from the activity with the salad spinner. Bottom line for having activities with a three year old, keep things simple with few words to introduce them and let the child work with the materials.
We are going to Asia in two weeks. Asia? Again? Yes. It might not only be Thailand but might also be Laos or Vietnam. We will be away for three months and we will enjoy every minute of it this time. At least R and I will. I plan to go to more temples, malls, boat, train and bus rides, floating market tours and shopping. My sister might go over to see us which I hope she would do so we could catch up and she would meet R too. I will not miss the disputes around here which people put onto themselves. But I dread the fact that they will be here and have done something again to provoke us after being away like early this year.
Well, life for now is this way who knows what tomorrow will have for us. Cycnical as it may seem my thoughts are it is something that I will not miss after this phase past or will it ever go away.